Excessive lint trapped inside your clothes dryer can be dangerous-even causing a fire! So it’s essential to remove any lint build-up on a regular basis. Plus, if lint accumulates in the exhaust vent it can inhibit air flow which then interferes with the dryer’s operation. It can also cause the dryer to overheat.

Although your lint filter may look clean, some lint gets around the filter and inside the dryer where it can get stuck in the dryer vent.

Remove Dryer Lint from Filter After Every Load purple lint on dryer lint filter

Signs Your Dryer Needs to be Cleaned

  • Garments take a long time to dry or aren’t dry after running a regular cycle
  • When the dry cycle ends, clothing feels hot to the touch
  • The dryer’s metal exterior is hot to the touch
  • Your laundry room feels humid or damp
  • It smells like something is burning when your dryer is running

Tools You’ll Need:

  • Vacuum cleaner with a long hose attachment
  • Screwdrivers
  • Metal foil duct tape (UL-listed)
  • Dryer lint removal kit (available at the home center)

5 Steps to Clean Your Dryer Vent:

Remove and Clean the Lint Filter

  • Rinse it in the sink and dry with a soft cloth. Set aside.

Sweep and Vacuum the Lint Trap Housing

  • Unplug the dryer and turn off gas valve if you have a gas-powered dryer.
  • Use an old curtain rod, bent slightly with a pipe bender, attached to your vacuum hose to suck up any lint or debris deep inside the link trap housing.
  • Or use your dryer lint removal kit’s flexible lint trap brush to remove any remaining lint. Reach the brush all the way in the opening, rotating it to pick up debris. Then you can use your vacuum hose to clean the dryer brush.

Old Curtain Rod Used to Vacuum Dryer Lint Trap

Disconnect the Dryer Duct

  • Disconnect the duct attached at the wall behind your dryer. Then pull the dryer away from the wall.
  • Disconnect the duct from your dryer. If any ductwork is attached with tape, remove the old tape.

Cleaning the Ductwork

Use the duct cleaning brush from your kit, following the manufacturer’s instructions.

  • Place the brush into the duct and sweep it clean. Use a gentle rotating motion while you push the brush along the inner walls. Reach all the way to the end of the duct. Clean the brush bristles frequently to remove clumps.
  • Inspect the vent cap located at the end of the duct, to ensure it’s clean. Check the flapper to make sure it’s working correctly. You may need to go outside to do this.

Reattach the Ducts

  • Attach the duct to your dryer using a zip tie and/or UL-listed metal foil duct tape.
  • Vacuum any dirt and lint from behind and on the back of your dryer.
  • Move the dryer back into place and reattach the duct to the vent in the wall.
  • Turn on the gas (for gas clothes dryers) and plug it back in.
  • Turn on the dryer to make sure it’s operating and venting correctly.

A routine clean of your dryer vent and ductwork will ensure your dryer runs efficiently and effectively! It also keeps your favorite college sweatshirt looking newer, longer. And who doesn’t want that?

Learn How to Clean Your Washing Machine with this one easy step.

Further Information

Editorial Contributors
Danny Lipford

Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio, TodaysHomeowner.com, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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